AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin Energy hasn't raised its rates in 18 years, but that will soon change.
The Austin City Council will vote in June to determine how much more customers will pay.
With price hikes expected, more homeowners are turning to Mother Nature to power their homes.
In the Mueller neighborhood, dozens of homeowners have installed solar panels -- many saying it's the best investment they could have made.
Martine Racine, who has lived in his green home for more then a year, said having the sun work for you is great.
"In the summer, like August, it paid for about 80 percent of our energy cost," said Racine. "During the winter, it's pretty much 100 percent."
For Racine, the decision to make the switch to solar panels was a no-brainer, even with the upfront cost.
"It costs about $26,000 to install the panels on the house, after the rebates, about $3,500," said Racine.
Texas weather can change in minutes, and that was a concern for Racine.
With the panels mounted on the roof, they're exposed and vulnerable to the outside elements. But after checking with his homeowners insurance, Racine said the solar panels were covered for any damage that might occur.
If solar panels is out the budget right now, you can also save by keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees when you're home. Keep it between 82- and 85 degrees when you're gone.
Austin Energy said they have enough rebates to go around, so if you're interested in installing solar panels, check their website.
Winter is invading Texas with a vengeance as snow, sleet and ice were unleashed on much of northern and western sections of the state.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.
Caldwell County residents gathered Thursday evening to organize their fight against a proposed landfill that they say poses a hazard that they don't need.
The pastor of the Austin church attended by the teacher who was killed Thursday in Benghazi remembered him as a spiritual friend dedicated to improving the lives of others.
In just a few months, Pflugerville will be home to a new water park. It's just the latest development as the community becomes a major suburb.
Global civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, whose legacy is ending South African apartheid, has died.